The great Khabib Nurmagomedov who is still the current lightweight champion in the UFC, had previously retired. Dana White was being very nice to him and asked him if he would come back to the sport if he could get him a big fight. Dana was doing everything in his power to offer something that was worth it to a man who has achieved everything there is to do in the division. Let’s visit a few reasons on why I think we never see The Eagle again.
A big money rematch against Conor McGregor was offered to him again. This would be the money option, so lets see if we can bring Khabib back to the sport for another large payday. Their first fight was the biggest fight in MMA history and it lived up to expectations. Khabib’s coach had already denied this offer before Conor was knocked out due to the lack of respect leading up to the first fight. Conor was admittedly not in his right state of mind leading up to this and it showed. There were various slurs used against Khabib, his family, and even his wife, and even allegations that they were laundering money for the Russian government, etc. The level of disrespect has not been exceeded in UFC history, and this was something Khabib’s team thought should not be tolerated. They were the winners of the fight, and they will never tolerate this again.
The next option was for Dana to offer Khabib a legacy fight against Georges St-Pierre. Khabib thinks he deserves this type of fight, and he is absolutely correct. GSP has given him the utmost respect in this regard and agreed to fight him as well. A few things GSP wants is he wants it to be for the lightweight title, which is one that he has not had. It would make him the first three division champion in the promotion’s history. He had a test weight cut to get down to 155 lbs, and it did not go well. This bad weight cut ruled out the idea of GSP coming down in weight. Another thing is how Dana did not want this fight to be for the championship, because both fighters would be retired after the fact. He did not like when GSP did that with the middleweight championship and he stated this would never happen to him again. With those things being a factor, I don’t think Khabib will be fighting Georges anytime soon.
The last hope for Khabib to return was for the lightweights on last Saturday’s UFC 257 card to impress him. Now this is a very vague statement to make coming from one of the greatest of all time. How hard can it be to impress someone who has already beaten everyone he has been faced against? There were two knockout finishes and Michael Chandler had a huge debut against Dan Hooker, as well as Dustin Poirier knocking out Conor McGregor in the second round.
Was he impressed? No he was not.
Dana stated that Khabib stated he is “levels above these guys” and with that statement we get the answer we knew all along. If a knockout can’t get him to come back, then there is no hope in Khabib coming back to the sport anytime soon. We should begin the plans on what we want to see next from the lightweight contenders because there is nobody left on his level according to him. We can finally say our goodbyes to the greatest lightweight to ever do it.